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A carefully reconstructed account of the sinking of the Titanic, with special focus on the fate of Second Officer Herbert Lightoller (Kenneth More).

"Of all the films dealing with events in the North Atlantic on the evening of April 14, 1912, this British Rank production is still the best. It may lack the special effects wizardry of James Cameron's 1997 Titanic but leaves it for dead as drama. Adapted from Walter Lord's definitive book and free of any fictitious sub-plots or silly love stories, A Night To Remember is a powerful documentary-style chronicle of the fortunes of dozens of the ship's 2224 passengers, 705 of whom survived.

Of the multiple story-lines the strongest follows the heroics of Second Officer Herbert Lightoller (Kenneth More) in the two and a half hours from the ‘unsinkable’ vessel's collision with the iceberg to its descent to Davy Jones' Locker. More is splendid as the resolute and resourceful Lightoller but Eric Ambler's screenplay, boasting more than 200 speaking parts, is the real star of a film that paints the Titanic as a floating microcosm of British society and explores its class structure through the reactions of passengers to the disaster. Scenes of doors being locked on steerage passengers while some cowardly aristocrats assume a divine right to survive are acted with a vivid realism that lends great emotional weight to what's already a thrilling story.

The accumulation of heart-rending moments, many of them played out by characters never glimpsed again, gives this depiction of the most famous maritime incident of all time a haunting quality and inspires a desire to watch the film many times over. Having noted that the special effects are not in the same league as Cameron's computer generated set-pieces, it should be said that there is nothing second rate about those served up by director Roy Ward Baker. Exceptional for their time, they stand up very respectably today.

Available for the first time with Geoffrey Unsworth's beatiful black and white 'Scope photography intact, A Night To Remember is a DVD release to remember and to own without delay. The inclusion of 1993 documentary, The Making of A Night To Remember, is a real treat. The recollections of producer William MacQuitty and archival footage of the real Titanic make this even more of a must for anyone interested in the enduring tale."
Richard Kuipers

Published May 17, 2001

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia

(UK 1958)

CAST: Kenneth More, Ronald Allen, Robert Ayres, Honor Blackman, David McCallum

DIRECTOR: Roy Ward Baker

RUNNING TIME: 118 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: December 4, 2000

Widescreen, Interactive Menus, The Making of A Night to Remember (1 hour documentary) Cast Biographies, Original UK and US Theatrical Trailers, Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired, Scene Selections

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